Dear President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Members of the 117th Congress,
Peace be upon you, and the Mercy and Blessings of God.
I write to you as an American Muslim who is concerned about the present and future of our country. For the past four years, we have lived through the Muslim ban, children separated from their parents and put in cages, propaganda given primacy over science, government shutdown, the normalization of racism and white supremacy, the continued murder of our Black brothers and sisters, a rise in anti-Semitism, disregard for foreign interference in our affairs, nepotism and patronage, and the unnecessary deaths of our people during the pandemic. After all that, we need a return to justice and leadership.
In the Qur’an, we are told directly by the Almighty to stand for justice: “You who have faith, uphold justice and bear witness to God, even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your close relatives. Whether the person is rich or poor, God can best take care of both. Refrain from following your own desire, so that you can act justly—if you distort or neglect justice, God is fully aware of what you do” (4:135). In our day and age as well, we need to heed these words and come together to work towards a more just society for all of us.
“With justice, and in faith, we need to right our wrongs and heal our nation.”
The Inauguration called for that same return to justice and unity, and displayed it through the speeches, songs, and poems that we heard. With the current divisions in our country, I think of our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. Near the end of the Civil War and less than six weeks before his own assassination, President Lincoln concluded his magisterial 1865 second inaugural address with these words: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
With justice, and in faith, we need to right our wrongs and heal our nation. I stand ready with other Americans to help with the work ahead of all of us.
Dr. Amir Hussain
Chair and Professor of Theological Studies
Loyola Marymount University